Stretched


I did my first radio interview for my new book today via the telephone. It was recorded, so they’ll be able to mix, master and edit it. That helped alleviate some of the pressure, but to be honest I was completely out of my comfort zone.

I’ve been speaking in front of people for about 20 years and although there’s always an element of nervousness every time I step behind the mic, there’s also a sense of belonging.

So, I decided to try to figure out why these two speaking venues seemed so different for me and I came up with a few things that helped me figure myself out and be better prepared for the next one.

Speaking in front of an audience:

1. I pray for the people who will be there and I generally have a list of names that has been provided or at least an idea of what type of audience will be there.

2. An event often defines who will attend, so after seeking God’s face for the wisdom and the words to know what to speak on, I’m able to think in terms of topic and theme.

3. Faces. I see faces of women who laugh and smile and shed tears along the way. These are the women I diligently prayed for – that although I don’t know what they’re going through or what they need to hear – that God would use me to speak from His heart to theirs. Seeing their faces makes all the difference in the world.

4. I’m familiar with at least a few of the women that are attending a speaking engagement. I may not have met them in person, but at least I’ve talked to them on the phone for some time – got to know them a little – have been praying for them by name – have talked about the needs and the topics. So, I feel as though I know them at least a little bit.

Radio Interview:

1. I’ve never met or talked to the person before and my first contact is the phone call of the interview. I was blessed to have a very nice and informative man walk me through the process and ease my heart before the actual interview. But I still didn’t know him. My only communication until the time of the interview was by email. I realize that’s the way many radio interviews are done and many people do them very well, but this little girl was definitely out of her comfort zone!

2. Unexpected questions. Let’s face it…if you’re a speaker, you know what you’re going to say. You’ve prayed about it, you’ve reviewed it a million times and then prayed some more. No one is going to stop you midstream and ask you an unexpected question. A radio interview means you have to be able to think quickly and expect the unexpected. I confess I’m not so good at the “thinking quickly” thing which makes it a little more difficult to feel at ease during the interview.

3. Not seeing your audience. That really was the biggest nerve prompter for me. Whether you’re in the studio or on the phone when you conduct a radio interview, you don’t have the luxury of seeing who you’re talking to or really knowing who will be listening. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been speaking for so long in front of people or what, but the invisible audience freaked me out a little bit.

4. The clock is ticking. Whether you’re speaking before a group of people or doing a television or radio interview, you always have to be cognizant of the time. But there’s a little more leeway when you’re at a conference. Radio and television shows are on a strict stopwatch. One or two minutes really does make a difference, so you have to keep in mind the clock is ticking.

I have to say that I really enjoyed my interview and I was blessed to have Don be the first host to do a radio interview with me. He certainly did a good job of putting my mind at ease, but I was still out of my comfort zone and I knew it.

That said…it’s good for each of us to be stretched beyond the walls of our own comfort. To grow, serve and minister in areas that are beyond our personal concept of the norm.

God has a way of expanding our ministry boarders as He stretches us to do things that are beyond our natural abilities and places us in the need of Divine intervention.

I was the most unlikely person to speak in public, but God stretched me beyond that which I was able to do in the natural and gave me the supernatural ability to do what I never thought was possible…what I never wanted to do in the first place. Now it’s where I feel His pleasure most.

The same is true for you.

I loved sharing my heart about my new ladies Bible study on Ecclesiastes which is scheduled for release in August or September. It reminded me of how God led me to write a book that I didn’t even know I was writing. How He confirmed that what I was writing was for more than my own personal study. It was a sweet reminder of the fact that Understanding What Matters Most is a direct result of God stretching me way beyond my own capablities.

What is God prompting you to do today that will take faith to accomplish? What doors is He opening for you that will stretch you beyond your own abilities? Have you come to a place in your walk with the Lord that you are willing to be stretched anywhere, anyhow and anytime He chooses for His glory and your good?

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10 Comments

  1. Congratulations! I'm sure you did an awesome job!

    This is such a “coincidence”! My post tomorrow will be on The Discomfort Zone, which is part of a blog chain of writers from Christianwriters.com who are writing all month on this topic.

    You are such a sweetheart! I'm so happy I know you! May the Lord bless all you are doing for Him!

  2. Stephanie,

    Thanks for sharing! Your post came at a great time for me. I'll be doing a radio interview next month, my first too, and for some reason am very nervous. I realize this is out of my comfort zone, but it's like you said we need to be willing to be stretched.

  3. Lynn ~ Thanks for the encouraging words, my sistah! You and I need to sit around, drinking coffee and talk about Jesus together. It seems like He has us on similar paths. Hopefully one day! 🙂
    Love ya!

  4. Michelle,
    I'm so glad you were encouraged! I know you'll do fine! Is it a phone interview or studio interview? Tell me about it so I can be praying for you and maybe even get to hear it.

  5. Comfort zones…I have too many and have been there too long.

    Pride…I am still working on that because for so long I described it as self sufficient and strong willed.

    God is pushing me to an area to be stretched and it will take faith like none I have had before to walk through those doors.

  6. Angie,
    Comfort zones are cozy like a warm blanket on a cold day. We like it there and we don't like pulling the blankets back and getting out. It's a little startling. But I'm going to pray you will be blessed on this new path God is clearing before you.
    Hold on and enjoy the grand adventure of serving the Living God! It's not always easy, but it's always the place where you get to see God work in your life the most!

  7. Hi Stephanie!

    Really enjoyed reading your thoughts about ministering on the radio and how it compares to ministering before a group of people (I could definitely relate!). I'm SO happy for you that God opened this exciting new door to speak about your book, and to encourage women to focus on what really matters.

    Bless you! ~Ann

  8. Hi Ann,
    Thanks so much for popping in. I keep up with you and your ministry and love seeing a fellow missionary girl out there making a difference for Christ.

    I'm very excited about the book coming out soon, because it's one of those things that you know God leads you to do and it's completely unexplainable. Can't wait to see what He does with it.

    Keep in touch and please let me know when you have something specific I can pray for in your ministry.

  9. Thanks for sharing these ideas about preparing for a speaking engagement. I'm hoping to start speaking more, and I will definitely be adding some of these ideas to my preparation methods!

  10. Hi Ashley,
    Thanks for popping in and visiting! I just checked your site out and loved it! It's funny how different venues can make us feel very different about speaking.

    I'd rather stand in front of 10,000 than 10 because there's a certain distance, yet I can still see faces. The radio was different, but I learned from that experience.

    I look forward to getting to know you better and will be checking in at your blog! 🙂

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